My name is Rachel Dewell and I'm a nurse and a mother of 5. After suffering with Hyperemesis Gravidarum multiple times and being told it was just bad morning sickness, I made it my mission to help other women prevent another HG pregnancy and its related health issues. I started this podcast to share the answers I’m finding. Every episode, I dig deeper and make the connections that not everyone sees yet. I want to separate fact from fiction and figure out what really matters. We hear all the same things over and over, but I want to find out what really works, why it works and what you can do about it before having another baby and another HG pregnancy. There are no guarantees here, but I will flip over every rock I can find.
Coping with Infant Loss at any Stage
You've probably heard of a labor doula. Someone who stays by your side throughout the labor and delivery and afterbirth process to provide physical and emotional support. A bereavement doula is just how it sounds, someone to stay by your side while you grieve the loss of your baby.
I had never heard of a bereavement doula but after getting acquainted with Kathleen Garcia, I'm glad that there is someone out who wants to help parents walk through one of the hardest of life's experiences: the loss of a child. Kathleen says that she never wants a Mom to have to suffer alone.
In this episode:
Dealing with grief
Dealing with miscarrriage
Dads are often shut out and not allowed the same space to grieve.
"A loss is a loss at any stage"
"Miscarriage is a labor and a birth."
HG and abortion
HG and loss
Stillbirthday.com: Find a doula, get support, become certified to help others
Beyond Morning Sickness: This book was like a balm to my soul after having HG.
Just knowing that you are not alone is a comfort.
October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
To connect with Kathleen, visit her website here: http://kgempoweringmothers.com/
She also has an etsy shop here: Oils Of The Rainbow
HCG Mutations and other possible causes of Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Dr. Joseph Sgroi was talking about Hyperemesis Gravidarum on twitter recently and we chatted (tweeted? Twittered?) about a few different things related to that, so I thought it would be fun to have him on to talk about what he sees in his practice in Melbourne, Australia.
In this episode:
Urinary tract infections
High levels of HCG
Thyrotoxicosis: Here is an article that explains it better. It's worth getting your thyroid hormone levels checked as being hyper and hypo can cause problems for you and the baby.
Mutations at the hCG receptors and of the hormone itself, possibly.
Misfiring could over-stimulate the thyroid
No tests to predict this, unfortunately.
Progesterone and Estrogen could also contribute to HG
Can't smell, can't get HG? (Does anyone have any anecdotes about that?)
Possible helps: REST, modify foods, acupressure, medication, being proactive, ginger (there are studies, as we know), zinc, hospitalizations
Important to plan for pregnancy and maximize your health prior. Find out if you have any deficiencies.
To get in touch with Dr. Joseph Sgroi:
What it's like to have HG in the Netherlands
Jessica Spry-Sinay and husband, Willem, daughter Yaiza
Jessica Spry-Sinay lives in the Netherlands with her husband and 2 daughters. She wanted to share her experience with two HG pregnancies and hear about the differences in treatment and care in other countries. She volunteers for a support group in her own country and reaches out to support groups in neighboring countries to offer help whenever she can.
We talked about:
Emesafene: first choice anti-emetic for HG in the Netherlands
She was told she had normal morning sickness at first, but then needed a 13 day hospital stay.
Had HG with her missed abortion (sac was found but never a heartbeat).
3rd pregnancy was hospitalized at 6 weeks
After the HG abated around 22 weeks, she was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes
She saw 8 different OB-GYNs and got 8 different treatment plans.
in the Netherlands, Ob-GYNs are typically only for high risk pregnancies or complications. Midwives handle all normal pregnancies but they don't have a protocol for HG.
The Netherlands supports homebirth, low c-section rates and very low epidural rates. Only complicated births are in the hospital.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum Support Group in Holland
Hyperemesis Gravidarum Facebook Support group in Holland
They "cracker" and "ginger" women with HG over there too.
2 meters equals about 6 ft. 5.5 inches. That's tall!
Don't brush your teeth after vomiting. Just rinse with water.
Jessica feels a duty to stay in the groups and offer support and experience to the new women coming in every day suffering from HG.
HG Warrior's Support Group Part 2: How you can help
Part 2 of Genna Rourke's interview (check out part one here) about her two HG pregnancies and the charity she started. HGwarriors.com is for women all over the world struggling with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. If you're past HG but want to help support other women, you can volunteer here. The number one thing that women who have gone through HG in the past say is that they felt so alone. This is a great way to help one more HG woman feel like she is not alone. Check out the FB group here.
Download "Hyperemesis Gravidarum, The Ultimate Survivor's Guide", here. Especially if you're in the UK, you need to know how to navigate the medical care system to get the treatment you need. She is currently working on a guide for women in the US.
Why Methylation Matters and how You can Improve it.
Dr. Tim Jackson is a doctor of Physical Therapy. He also studied nutritional biochemistry, digestive health and its systemic effects, as well as functional endocrinology. He helps people with all sorts of disorders over at HealYourbody.org. He also does online consults through his Heal Your Body Program.
In this episode we talked about:
What MTHFR means: (It's not your first thought. I know what you were thinking.) It stands for Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. (Say that three times fast.)
It basically means that if you have it, you lack the ability to activate folic acid into methyl-folate.
Then you don't have the useable form of folate and you have too much folic acid sitting around.
That's when disorders start popping up. Miscarriages have been associated with MTHFR.
Best place to get tested: 23andme.com. You will just get the raw data, no interpretations.
Get interpretations at livewello.com or MTHFRSupport.com.
Heterozygous means you have one copy
Homozygous means you have two copies
Polymorphism is a SNP (Single-nucleotide polymorphism)
Genetics refers to actual mutations someone might have. Trisomy or Down's Syndrome are examples.
Epigenetics are modifiable risk factors, which give us a predisposition to certain diseases or disorders. The key word is modifiable. They are not set in stone.
"HG can be the straw that breaks the camel's back."
Allostatic load means the sum total of internal and external stressors on the body.
"It can take a disease from subclinical to clinical" (expressed).
"Any stressor can effect the expression of genes."
Exposome means everything you've been exposed to in your life.
You can have too little or too much methylation. This effect neurotransmitter production (mood disorders), T-cells (infection and allergies), and Glutithione (which controls free radicals).
Can Hyperemesis Gravidarum be an allergy to the hormones, the placenta or the baby? Short answer....YES.
Neuro-immune is more accurate than "Auto-immune" to describe this.
Phase 1: oxydation
Phase 2: conjugation-methylation
Phase 3: Transport to the cell
Milk Thistle supports Phase 1 detox. If phase 2 is not adequate, the byproducts of phase 1 sit around causing oxidative stress.
B vitamins, NAC (N-acetyl cysteine-precursor to glutithione), Glutithione and Glycine support Phase 2 detox.
Oxidative Stress causes all disorders, which go through 3 stages.
Stage 1: energetic imbalance (you don't feel bad in this stage)
Stage 2: Functional: Fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. You feel the effects but there are no biomarkers to show what's going on.
Stage 3: lesional-can be seen on an MRI (like Multiple Sclerosis)
Inflammation causes fatigue ad premature aging.
Lipid Peroxidation: damage to cell membranes
What to do about it:
Support the methylation cycle
Reduce oxidative stress
Clean out processed foods and additives.
Remove sugar and gluten.
Consider removing dairy
Heal your gut (mood disorders are related to leaky gut.)
Just because you don't have symptoms, doesn't mean you don't have a disorder.
"The system that is disordered might not be what's expressing itself."
Glutithione: Oral liposomal form, transdermal creams and oral s-acetyl-glutithione
Magnesium and zinc are cofactors for methylfolate and other b vitamins.
B12 needs methylfolate. Taking methylfolate without B12 could cause "methyl-trapping". To learn more about this, check out my paper about the importance of Magnesium, Zinc and B vitamins. Sign up here and I'll email the paper to you.
For more suggestions, check out Dr. Jackson's website.
He suggests not taking supplements all at once but after changing your diet to reduce insulin (which is pro-inflammatory), increasing healthy fats (which fuels the liver, tissues and cells and helps balance hormones) then layer in supplements, one at a time. Minerals first, magnesium, then zinc. Then add B vitamins, starting with B12. The last supplement
Getting Your Meds right with Ashley Ziegler
I talked to Ashley Ziegler of the blog, Itsy Bitsy Blessings about her experiences with Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
We talked about so many things:
Her most visited post is a guest post by Brad Klingele titled, "So, Your Wife is Barfing her Guts out". You have to read it. And then pass it around to all your friends and their husbands.
How we can fall into the trap of thinking we can "will ourselves through it". I know I did that before getting pregnant.
The paranoia she felt when she was hospitalized, thinking that she was surely going to die and thinking that no one was telling her the truth.
When her Doctor said that she didn't know anything else to try, a combination of drugs, phenergan and zofran, actually finally worked.
Consider lowering your dose of medication is the side effects are too much. Or ask about raising your dose if it's not working. Many drugs are dose specific and will work better at a higher dosage and in combination with other drugs. Don't be afraid to ask.
Ashley's blog series on women with HG.
We talked about why HG women in particular feel the need to have other people understand.
Ashli McCall's book, The Chronicles of Nausea, where she talks about her Hg experience in a diary like prose. She also talks about her experience with cancer in conjunction with HG.
Her other book is "Beyond Morning Sickness". I would recommend them both.
Ashley Ziegler is currently pregnant with her fourth pregnancy.
Email me if you are interested in hearing more about the International HG Day Meetups. firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the podcast we all didn’t know we needed!! But we sure do!
Thanks Rachel, your dedication is inspiring. Keep it up!
Very informative-looking forward to sharing your show with others! :)